TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Anita Morgan as the 31st Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Montreal Canadiens. Morgan, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate half to The Spring of Tampa Bay, while the other half will go towards a scholarship for her own education.
Anita began the process of healing from the trauma in her life through a poetry class led by Dennis Amadeus for youth living at Starting Right, Now. She's now a college student, committed to helping other young people in the community begin their own healing journeys. Anita hopes to help teens and young adults living at The Spring of Tampa Bay find their own voices, and reclaim their power through poetry, and creative expression. Each year, The Spring provides safe shelter to almost 600 children and their moms, as well as, around 150 of the adult victims who have fled abusive relationships.
Anita plans to work with Amadeus and his team to plan and lead quarterly sessions of four two hour workshops for survivors living in the emergency shelter. These workshops would be staged close together to meet the needs of these survivors. The workshops would also include trauma informed practices which help communitys learn to re-frame a person's struggles. These practices switch the way that people approach victims and move the blame from the victim onto the perpetrator. Morgan wishes that in providing these workshops and allowing victims of violence to tell their story through a different medium, poetry, their voices and stories will be heard.
Anita Morgan becomes the 353rd Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the Lightning Community Hero program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through this evening's game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $17.75 million to more than 400 different nonprofits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2016, the Vinik's announced that the community hero program will give away another $10-million over the next five seasons.